Having a healthy relationship with your partner(s) in times of crisis can be challenging, especially if you chose to self-quarantine with the new partner(s) for an indefinite amount of time. It is not a decision to be taken lightly, as a federal plan projects that the Coronavirus pandemic could have multiple waves of illness for 18 months or more, and there is nothing we can do except wait it out from the safety of our homes. If your area, state, or country has not already ordered or enforced a lockdown, make a decision with your partner(s): Should you co-quarantine together? If you decide to co-quarantine together, it is key for you to discuss work/personal/other boundaries, expectations, and how you can support each other through the quarantine.
A few factors are discussed below to help you make the decision.
You or your partner(s) are considered high-risk if any one of you have a chronic health-related diagnosis such as cancer, asthma, HIV, cardiovascular disease, an autoimmune disorder. What does it mean if you are high-risk? As a high-risk person, you are more likely to have severe symptoms of coronavirus and die from it than someone who is not high-risk.
While the desire to be with the people you love during the quarantine is quite understandable, issues could emerge in the relationship because the high-risk partner not only has to keep an eye on their own health, they also may be worried about where their significant other(s) have gone to (i.e., the significant other is a healthcare employee, goes to the grocery store, etc.)
We all have different styles of communication. You would need to be clear about what you need and/or want during the quarantine, whether you are together or apart.
If you take the jump and decide to live together for the quarantine, you and your partner(s) would need to create a reasonable budget as well as a schedule with routines that includes alone time. It is important for everyone to agree with and abide by it, with adjustments along the way if needed. Make room for work-at-home spaces and distraction-free hours if applicable.
If you are concerned that your partner(s) may have struggles in respecting your boundaries, refrain from doing a move-in for the quarantine. Also, if you feel that you and your partner(s) are still learning how to communicate with each other or you have had issues in that area, it would be wiser to stay apart and use the quarantine as an opportunity to improve your communication skills.
Staying in Touch
If the relationship(s) between you and your partner(s) are still new, consider whether you all are equipped to handle the experience of living together for long periods of time without leaving the house much. If you are not sure, know that staying in touch is easier than ever and there are ways you can show your love and care for others with technology. Video calls, online games, simultaneous streams of NetFlix movies, texts, SnapChat messages, and surprised or planned delivery of your partners’ favorite food/desserts and other essential products from small restaurants and businesses. Pick out books you’d want to read together and have discussions about it, if you share a mutual love of reading.
This is a national crisis that leaves many in a heightened emotional state of mind, with anxiety and stress. With that said, take the time to consider if you and your partner(s) are better able to support each other apart or together.